And for a Friday as Lockdown 4.0 is underway, some thoughts….. some musings…..
Amongst the Metros, if grades were awarded as of today, Bangalore wins over hands down for excellent management, with 122 active cases, 124 recovered and still single digit deaths (as of morning only 9 unfortunate deaths). All the Gardens have opened for two hours morning and evening, city buses are back with social distancing norms, all shops opened and city is almost back. Of course no malls, no theatres, but then each city has its own peculiarities. No two cities can strictly be compared. I feel saddest for my favourite city Mumbai, the highest contributor to the National exchequer, the most cosmopolitan and the city of dreams is struggling. COVID-19 has hit the hardest at the city’s most vulnerable – the overcrowded and dense hutment colonies which has been providing the cheapest most efficient skilled manpower, Harbour, Central and Western trains the life line of the city. If suburban trains don’t work, Mumbai can’t work. Sad to hear Wellington Club is also taken over for COVID relief work. We all have to cooperate and contribute.
Come Monday, domestic Air travel will begin. Bookings have already started. New norms – only Web check-in, no check-in counters, Masks, Screening mandatory, Arogya Setu app/self declaration, free of COVID certification, only one piece baggage of less than 20 kgs checked in, no hand baggage and prepare to arrive airport 3 hours in advance. Good news – Govt has prescribed airfare limits based on duration of flights. Airlines cannot fleece customers. But my advice, travel only if you must. Check Quarantine regulations in the arriving city before you check-in. Each city changes its rules overnight. Huge discontent and harassment as changes could be last minute. But opening of Domestic air travel is an indication of “living with the Virus”. Life must go on. Take all precautions. COVID-19 is till lurking just as strong as she ever was. We are learning. We have to reconcile.
Let us all support one another in this process of “living with the Virus”, learn new lessons, but never drop our guard. Let us rebuild our new IC (In Corona) Life, the caring way, the Safe way, the SEEGOS way.